Hamra (Beqaot), Jordan Valley, Ma'ale Efrayim, Tayasir, Za'tara (Tapuah)
On Thursday, February 22, 2018, a new illegal outpost was established inside a deserted army base (empty for the past 4 years) next to Tyassir Checkpoint.
On Friday we received a phone call from a local inhabitant who told us that a new illegal outpost has been established right next to this checkpoint. Today we came there and entered the deserted army base. We saw 4 vehicles parked there, one of which was a pickup truck.
Two dogs charged us. Then someone approached to get the dogs away. The man and his female partner, next to a small camping tent and car, told us they were guests staying for the Sabbath, in order to “encourage the settlers on the spot”. We said we were looking for a restroom and they pointed us to one of the structures that has been turned into a toilet (without connection to water and sewage pipes). The other vehicles stood next to a structure further down, apparently serving as a dwelling.
Someone else then approached and must have suspected us, so we left.
We did not wish to arouse suspicion and have a confrontation so we photographed very little, of minor worth.
These settler-colonists are known to posses cattle. Obviously this cattle will graze in the area, and thus prevent the Palestinian shepherds from grazing theirs in the same grazing grounds.
Obviously the outpost, in addition to being illegal since it has not been approved anywhere, is also in fact a violation of the law because the settler-colonists are invading army property and dispossessing structures built by the Israeli army. If the checkpoint and watchtower have been manned since Thursday, the soldiers could not have missed seeing the goings-on in the base that less than 10 meters away.
On Friday, February 23, 2018, I spoke with the Jericho DCO’s infrastructures officer and asked if he knew that a new settler-colony has taken root by the checkpoint. He said he had heard nothing about it, and asked me to send him photos and the exact location, without these he would not check.
Tomorrow, Sunday February 25, at 11 a.m., a protest demonstration of local inhabitants will take place near the checkpoint.